Get In Her Ears w/ ESYA (Ayse Hassan) 11.07.19

Kate & Mari were back in the studio this week with loads of new tunes from the likes of Grawl!x, Dude York, Life Is Better Blonde, ZAMILSKA, Grapefruit, Gauche & Planningtorock.

ESYA (Ayse Hassan of Savages, Kite Base, 180db) joined them for a chat about her recent EP Absurdity Of ATCG, and her upcoming gig supporting Bo Ningen at The Shacklewell Arms on 24th August.

Listen back here:

@KCBobCut
@marimindles
@getinherears

Tracklist
X Ray Spex – Oh Bondage, Up Yours!
Beckie Margaret – New York
NIMMO – The Power
Petite Meller – Aeroplane
Grawl!x – Epicene
Pongo – Quero Mais Anoraak
Deep Deep Water – Something In The Water
The Eyelids – Suffer
Duck – R*ck St*r
Grapefruit – Soak
Life Is Better Blonde – Winter (feat. Angus Dawson)
Dude York – Should’ve
Zamilska – Hollow
ESYA – Nothing
Giungla – Better Than Ever
Jenny Hval – Sabbath
Salad – Under The Wrapping Paper
Gauche – Flash
Smaller Hearts – Circuitry
Atelier Blue – Empty Lungs
Mauno – Take Care
Emma McGrath – Other Side
GEISTE – Ocean
HEALTH (feat. Soccer Mommy) – Mass Grave
Zola Jesus – Bound
Planningtorock – Beuhla Loves Dancing

Five Favourites: Grawl!x

Having previously received acclaim for their previous three albums, including last year’s Appendix, Derby-based Grawl!x, aka James Machin, has now shared their bewitching new single, ahead of playing at Indietracks festival later this month.

A collaboration with Umbilica’s Jo Lewis, ‘Epicene’ is a soaring, cinematic soundscape exploring discussions of gender, sexuality, feminism and the role of allies. Flowing with twinkling electronic hooks and spellbinding harmonies, it’ll send shivers down the spine, oozing its poignant, sweeping emotion. Of the track, Machin explains: “… [gender] is an issue I’ve wanted to explore in a musical dialogue for quite some time. It’s quite alarming when you realise how great the gender disparity is and how our culture is divided in binary terms.”

We think one of the best ways to get to know a new artist is by asking them what music inspired them to write in the first place, so we caught up with James to talk about their ‘Five Favourites’. Identifying as non-binary, they have recently started performing as ))Maria(( too, and so has chosen five inspiring tracks that reference or subvert gender in some way. Check out their choices below, and watch the new video for ‘Epicene’ at the end of this post.

Anna Meredith – ‘Varmints’
In life, one is rarely afforded the opportunity to have a proper “WHAT
THE F**K AM I LISTENING TOO?!!” moment, but this was definitely one of them. A DJ friend of mine Russell played this at a local bar called Sudz &
Soda, and I was just blown away. It has such a majestic, foreboding
quality. Even when the beat drops, you don’t quite know whether to Dirty
Wine Squat or crumple into a husk of tears. Strictly speaking, I don’t
think it’s about gender but given the lack of vox, it could be! This definitely inspired our song ‘Epicene’. Meredith is an incredible composer
who never fails to make me feel like a backwards country bumpkin’
creatively speaking.

Princess Nokia – ‘Tomboy’
What a banger!! I asked my pal Ruth Hindle (who did the artwork for
‘Epicene’ as it happens) what the kids were listening too. She said she
didn’t know, but gave a lovely list of grime & trap tracks she likes. I
love this track so much. Princess Nokia just seems like such a strong role model.
Apart from embracing that age old gender stereotype with thoughtful
lyrics; she does it such aplomb and fun, it’s impossible to resist.
Although, dancing to this, a person of my age tends to
silence my desire to yell “my little titties & my fat belly” at the top
of my lungs. Awkward!!

Michelle Gurevich – ‘I’ll Be Your Woman’
ANOTHER friend of mine turned me onto this. Come to think of it, all my
friends tend to have pretty great taste! Gave me some proper Lynchian
chills. This song is just sooooo sultry, and the imagery masterfully plays with
gender assumptions, albeit in a slightly off-kilter kinda way. Her voice
is super androgynous too and, being non-binary I just love the both-ness of
it all. Top job Chinawoman!!

Charli XCX – ‘Boys’
Considering how crazy popular she is, it’s probably somewhat unnecessary
for me to help out, but I just love this song so much! Despite being everywhere, I missed it when it first came out then found the video on YouTube and had to rewatch it several dozen times. Once I got over how fun and lovely and
saucy it is, I then realised how clever and sparse the composition was with the 8bit business at work. Really amazing production. BANGER!!! And, although in the context of this list, it doesn’t so obviously subvert gender (the title clearly defines that), the idea of kinda objectifying men is done really well, and switches things around a bit.

SOPHIE – ‘Infatuation’
Speaking of amazing production, here is someone who again is properly
taking electronic music to a new level. By virtue of her current status,
I think she is helping change folks’ perceptions about gender. I could
have picked any off the record but this track is my favourite, mainly because
of the opening chords. Quite melancholy – what I’m a sucker for. It takes
you on a proper sonic traverse somewhere horrifically pretty. YAYAY!!!

Massive thanks to James for discussing their Five Favourites with us!

‘Epicene’ is out 19th July via Reckless Yes. Watch the new video here:

 

Playlist: 50 Years Of Pride

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots which triggered the modern LGBTQ+ liberation movement in the US and beyond. On the 28th June 1969, the bar’s patrons clashed with police officers in a raid that was not uncommon during that era. However, this time they’d had enough, this time the patrons fought back. Two people in particular made a significant impact that night but the history books often forget – two transgender women of colour named: Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.

This night lit a match underneath the modern LGBTQ+ movement we see living on worldwide in Pride celebrations, protests and marches today.

So much has happened in the last 50 years both in favour and against the LGBTQ+ communities; in my lifetime alone I’ve seen the World Health Organisation declassify same-sex attraction as a mental illness, I’ve seen Section 28 being repealed, and equal marriage being passed into law but I’ve also seen a significant increase in the levels of isolation and loneliness within the LGBTQ+ communities, and the number of homophobic, and especially transphobic, hate crimes more than doubling in the last 5 years.

50 years on from the Stonewall Riots we have seen progress, but we are not at the finish line yet! As trans activist Charlie Craggs said “trans women of colour need you to fight for them the way they fought for you 50 years ago, there is still more to be done, the battle is not over.”

Which is why at Pride this year as I march in the parade, I will be marching to celebrate everything we have achieved and I will be protesting for everything that is to come because our mantra is: we’re here, we’re queer and yes sometimes we’re afraid, but we are never ashamed because we are proud of who we are!

– Tash Walker

To mark this momentous anniversary, Tash, Mari and Kate have put together some tunes to celebrate LGBTQ+ liberation, as we continue to push for progress. Read about our chosen tracks and have a listen below! 

Hercules & Love Affair – ‘Blind’
Taken from their self-titled album released in 2008, the same year I attended London Pride for the first time, this is without a doubt the theme tune to me fully embracing my sexuality, feeling proud of who I was and strong enough to come out happily in all aspects of my life.
Tash Walker

Le Tigre – ‘Keep On Livin’
Pioneers of queer culture, Le Tigre’s ‘Keep On Livin’ remains a motivational anthem to anyone going through a hard time. Inspired by the feelings surrounding both ‘coming out’ as a survivor of sexual abuse, and coming out as gay, lesbian, bi or trans, it’s a pure cathartic release of emotion.
Mari Lane

Robyn – ‘Dancing On My Own’
Robyn is an outspoken ally for LGBTQ+ rights. I think it is important to recognise the role that allies play within LGBTQ+ history and the movement’s continued fight for equality.
TW

Lady Gaga – ‘Born This Way’
A dance-floor filling anthem that celebrates self-acceptance.
Kate Crudgington

RuPaul – ‘Sissy That Walk’
Pioneering drag queen RuPaul’s message of self love and motivation is encapsulated in this uplifting anthem, as she sings one of her classic mottos: “Unless they paying your bills, pay them bitches no mind.”
ML

Planningtorock – ‘Non Binary Femme’
This track summed up 2018 for me, a year that gave with free abundance in good music, in particular Planningtorock’s album Powerhouse. Any album that uses the language Non-Binary Femme in the title of the song is unarguably paving the way for not only a greater/better understanding of what these words and this sort of language means, but also for it to become a fully accepted part of everyday conversation.
TW

Princess Nokia – ‘Tom Boy’
Openly queer rapper and all round inspiration, Princess Nokia writes powerful, feminist anthems promoting self love and body positivity, refusing to fit into stereotypical gender norms.
ML 

Mykki Blanco (feat. Princess Nokia) – ‘Wish You Would’
This is a song from an artist who I feel needs no introduction, a queer pioneer who is doing amazing things for LGBTQ+ rights as well as being open about their positive HIV status. Mykki Blanco is an incredible artist and I love his music.
TW

Syd – ‘All About Me’
One of my favourite tracks from Syd who is openly LGBTQ+ and you may know from the excellent collective The Internet.
TW

Shura – ‘2shy’
I just love this track from London artist Shura, who has been consistently challenging stereotypes since she came out as a lesbian a couple of years ago and helping to “queer the mainstream”. Bring on the blurring of gender and sexuality in pop!
TW

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
A pioneer for transgender rights in the late 60s, Jackie Shane lived her life as a woman in the spotlight, during a time when compassion and acceptance were not always reciprocated towards those who identified as trans.
KC

Cyndi Lauper – ‘True Colours’
An uplifting anthem often associated with the LGBTQ+ community, ‘True Colours’ openly asserts for us to love ourselves for who we are. Lauper has often dedicated the song to a friend of hers who died from HIV/AIDs, and has since co-founded the ‘True Colours’ fund – a non-profit that educates people on LGBTQ issues and helps to end homelessness for LGBTQ youth.
ML

King Princess – ‘1950’
Something that I am really proud of here in the UK is the latest generation of LGBTQ+ people, who continually amaze me with their openness and their acceptance of how others identify in their sexuality and gender identity, so different from when I was growing up. ‘1950’ by King Princess is an excellent example of the progression we have made throughout the last 60 years.
TW

Anna Calvi – ‘Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy’
Anna Calvi describes this track as being “beyond definition”, because queerness is beyond definition. Her whole Hunter album celebrates what it is to be queer in a wonderfully honest, binary-destroying way. Summing it up, she explains: “I want to go beyond gender. I don’t want to have to chose between the male and female in me.”
ML

Bang Bang Romeo – ‘Shame On You’
Fronted by loud and proud lesbian Stars, Bang Bang Romeo completely blew us away with their immense soulful power and compelling charisma when playing Cro Cro Land earlier this year.
ML

Dream Nails – ‘Deep Heat’
A hex on Donald Trump and the patriarchy in general, our fave DIY punks Dream Nails know how to boost up their community in times of need.
KC

The Menstrual Cramps – ‘The Smash’
Combining activism with musical prowess, and fully embracing queerness, The Menstrual Cramps provide a captivating, empowering force that we all need now more than ever.
ML

T-Bitch – ‘Dressing Up’
Southend riot grrrl punks T-Bitch celebrate all things trans, queer & glam!
KC

T-Bitch EP by T-Bitch

Queen Zee – ‘Boy’
One of the most relevant (and joyful) bands around at the moment. I’d put them on every playlist if it was up to me!
KC

Ezra Furman – ‘Suck The Blood From My Wound’
Openly bisexual and androgynous artist Ezra Furman’s latest album Transangelic Exodus really knocked my for six in its spine-tingling beauty and raw emotion. This track is particularly stirring, its concept serving as a metaphor for queer liberation and the defiance of the underdog.
ML

Grace Petrie – ‘Black Tie’
Addressing the damaging effects of enforced gender norms, this is an empowering and uplifting offering, addressing a younger self with reassuring lyrics such as “I swear there’ll come a day when you won’t worry what they say, on the labels, on the doors, you will figure out what’s yours.”
ML

Janelle Monae – ‘Pynk’
A brash celebration of creation. Self love. Sexuality. And p-ssy power!  Need I say more.
TW

Frank Ocean – ‘Chanel’
Such a great song. As you may or may not know, Frank Ocean came out back in 2012 to mixed but mainly positive responses.
TW

Queen – ‘Love Of My Life’
Just a heartbreaking love song written by the legendary Freddie Mercury. Once, when asked about his sexuality, Mercury replied with “I’m gay as a daffodil, my dear!”. A brave statement to make back in 1974.
ML 

Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy’
This track was released in 1984 at the height of the AIDS crisis by openly gay Bronski Beat, ‘Smalltown Boy’ is a heartbreaking story given an empowering beat.
TW

Anthony & The Johnsons – ‘For Today I Am A Boy’
A stirring and powerful ode to the journey of transitioning, a simply exquisite creation.
ML

Have a listen to, and follow, our 50 Years Of Pride playlist, here:

 

Tash Walker / @maudeandtrevor
Mari Lane / @marimindles
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut

ALBUM: Personal Best – ‘What You At’

The tagline (yep, it’s got a tagline!) of Personal Best’s second album, What You At, is “classic rock for tragic lesbians”. And I can’t think of a greater summary. It’s sweet and spiky, sad and uplifting. And it’s going to soundtrack a lot of break-ups.

Opener ‘Just Friends’ sets the tone. It starts out like a torch song – all acoustic guitar and raw emotion – but soon engulfs into crunchy rock riffs. The album has sadder, slower moments, like ‘Near To The Wildheart’ and closer ‘Salute’, but with front-person Katie Gatt’s powerful voice and lyrics, it remains an angry, empowering record.

Standout ‘Radio’ is a proper stomper, as is the single, ‘Baby’. When Gatt sings “I’m getting better”, backed by frenetic, punky guitars and pure pop harmonies, you really believe her. The album’s penultimate song, ‘One More Thing’, brings the record to a silly, splashy crescendo, which begs to be turned up to 11, Spinal Tap-style. I can almost picture the band playing it live, doing that classic rock, duelling guitars thing, and having an awesome time doing it.

It makes me so happy to see Personal Best stomping all over a traditionally male genre with their tongue firmly in their cheeks. As far as break-up albums go, What You At isn’t about feeling sorry for yourself. It’s the equivalent of a messy night out with the people you love. It’s sticky dancefloors and Strongbow; it’s crying on your best friend’s shoulder and putting the world to rights on the nightbus home.

A perfect fusion of wit, honest emotion and luscious harmonies, What You At will leave you elevated and ready to take on the world, break-up or no break-up.

What You At is out now via Sheer Luck Records/Dovetown Records. Order here.

Vic Conway

Photo Credit: Jennifer Doveton

 

PLAYLIST: May 2019

Another month, another playlist to share with you all! May has been as fruitful as ever when it comes to new music, so we’re excited to share our top picks with you all. Take some time to scroll through our words and make sure you hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

Dream Nails – ‘Vagina Police’
Our fave feminist punks Dream Nails released their EP Vagina Police last year, with all the profits donated to Abortion Support Network who are an organisation dedicated to supporting women & girl’s reproductive rights in the UK. With the news this month that the US state of Alabama has voted to outlaw abortion entirely – a law that offers no exception for rape or incest victims – it feels more important than ever to shout back. Here are some ways you may be able to help women affected by the new legislation(Kate Crudgington)

Montauk Hotel – ‘White Billboards’
A luscious soundscape with a poignant context; Montauk Hotel released this single via Reckless Records. The Dublin-based band say their new track is a “reflection on the power of advertising in our society and how models and [industry] standards influence our choices, happiness, and feelings of adequacy”. (KC)

Julia Shapiro – ‘A Couple Highs’
“When the rest of my life felt out of control, I felt like this was my chance to be in control of everything” explains Julia Shapiro about her upcoming debut solo album Perfect Version, which is set for release on June 14th via Hardly Art. Having taken a step back from life as Chastity Belt’s vocalist & guitarist after a difficult year, Shapiro has returned with this second single from her new record and it’s a breezy, soothing drop of aural medicine. (KC)

Trash Kit – ‘Horizon’
Having wowed us at one of our first nights at The Finbsury, Trash Kit have now shared the brand new title track from their upcoming album. Inspired by how people interpret the planet, ‘Horizon’ oozes a shimmering effervescent joy and swirling sparkling energy. Interweaving twinkling hooks, jangly beats and funk-fused bass lines, its cascading sun-filled vibes build to a wonderfully life-affirming climax and rejuvenating euphoric haze.
Horizon, the upcoming new album from Trash Kit, is out 5th July via Upset The Rhythm. (Mari Lane)

Show Boy – ‘Video’
Having built a reputation over the last few years across London for his dazzling, energy-filled live shows, artist and producer Show Boy has now shared a brand new single. Taken from his upcoming Surreal EP, ‘Video’ is propelled by throbbing beats and a whirring danceable energy. An instantly catchy, sparkling alt-pop gem that demands multiple listens. (ML)

Pongo – ‘Chora’
‘Chora’ the latest single from Caroline International signing Pongo (who is an Angolan-Portuguese electronic artist) means “cry” in Portuguese. The track is taken from her debut EP Baia which documents her turbulent experiences when she fled Angola in the country’s violent civil war. Through blending Portuguese lyrics and musical references to the Angolan genre of Kuduro, which assimilates soca and samba alongside western touchstones like techno & dancehall  – it’s an absolute tune! (Tash Walker)

Lizzo (feat. Missy Elliott) – ‘Tempo’
It wouldn’t be a GIHE playlist without the inclusion of total queen, Lizzo. I cannot stop listening (and dancing!) to her critically acclaimed new album, Cuz I Love You, and this track sees a total dream of a collaboration with the utter legend that is Missy Elliott. Another hugely empowering, body positive anthem, with each listen of ‘Tempo’ I just get more and more excited about finally seeing Lizzo live later this month at Kentish Town Forum (maybe Missy will make a guest appearance….)(ML)

Pinky Pinky – ‘Do Me Dirty (Charlie)’
The new single from LA trio Pinky Pinky, ‘Do Me Dirty (Charlie)’ is an infectiously uplifting slice of garage rock. With shades of the likes of Hinds, it oozes sunny hooks and honey-sweet vocals, creating the perfect, sparkling summer-love anthem. Pinky Pinky are over in the UK next week, and I cannot wait to witness their scuzzy energy live at The Sebright Arms on 22nd May. Full info on dates here. (ML)

CLT DRP – ‘Speak To My’
The breathtakingly immense latest single from Brighton’s CLT DRP, ‘Speak To My’ is the ultimate track to put two fingers up to the patriarchy, and a perfect accompaniment to what’s happening in the world today. Blasting out a unique cacophony of intense electro-punk, ‘Speak To My’ addresses rejecting the male gaze and womxm owning their sexuality; a wonderfully riotous anthem highlighting CLT DRP as the future of feminist punk. And we cannot wait for them to headline our next night at The Finsbury on 14th June! (ML)

Ghum – ‘Get Up’
Having wowed us on numerous occasions with their immersive live performances, GIHE faves GHUM have now shared a new track from their upcoming EP. ‘Get Up’ is a hauntingly anthemic offering, perfectly showcasing GHUM’s goth-tinged, sparkling majesty and bewitching charisma. The Coldest Fire, the upcoming EP from GHUM, is out 28th June via Everything Sucks Music. Catch GHUM live at the launch party on 13th July at The Shacklewell Arms. (ML)

Bamboo Smoke – ‘Stretchmarks’
The latest single from South Londoners Bamboo Smoke who played a fantastic set for us at our first ever Notting Hill Arts Club gig. The band describe ‘Stretchmarks’ as their most vulnerable song to date. (TW)

Izzy Bizu – ‘Lights On’
Taken from the newly released EP Glita, this is the latest single from Izzy Bizu “about throwing caution to the wind and going with what you feel rather than what you think.” Free spirits listen up! (TW)

Wolf Alice – ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’
It’s my birthday on 25th May and if you’re a Wolf Alice nerd like I am, you’ll notice that’s the date on the poster of the dance competition Ellie Rowsell enters in the music video for this track. 29 years old and I’m still angst-ridden af and ready to dance to this song as soon as I hear the opening riff. HB2ME. (KC)